Chapter 109 – The Returned Hero (5)

Episode 109 The Returned Hero (5)

It hadn’t been long since Vikir’s return.

Hugo Les Baskervilles, the head of the iron-blooded Baskervilles family, made his move immediately upon hearing the news of Vikir’s return.

His reaction was so intense that even Vikir himself hadn’t not expecting it.

Hugo traveled to the Underdog’s City Hall, accompanied by his butler, John Barrymore.

He came straight to the office and asked for Vikir first.

“Where is my son?”

Hugo asked, and the Chihuahua quickly led him into the office.

Vikir barely had time to greet him. Hugo burst through the office door and confronted Vikir, who was just stepping out.


Hugo’s eyes widened.

Vikir’s eyes widened slightly as well.

“You’re back.”

“I’m back.”

“Well done.”

“Thank you.”

The conversation is fairly dry and short for a father-son reunion.

However, Barrymore, standing behind them, watched the conversation with amusement and excitement.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve seen my lord so happy.”

No wonder Barrymore thought this.

Hugo hadn’t smiled once in the two years since Vikir’s disappearance.

Not even the slightest smile.

But now Hugo was looking at Vikir and smiling.

Of course, it was almost impossible to tell, because his face was so cold and stoic.


Vikir glanced cautiously at the door to the next room.

Hugo had come in such a hurry that he hadn’t hidden the Pomeranian properly.

He’d gotten her into the next room in a hurry, so she should be fine.



Hugo clapped Vikir on the shoulder.

“So, how have you been?”

Vikir tensed for a moment.

He’d spent all this time building up his strength in the depht to avoid revealing his true abilities to Hugo.

As a survivor of a age of destruction, Vikir used his skillful mana-hiding techniques to keep his strength in check.



Surprisingly, he felt no pressure from Hugo’s hand on his shoulder.

There was no indication that he was scanning the mana inside, or trying to get a read on it.

There was even a faint warmth to his voice that seemed out of place.

“What is it?”

Vikir is a little taken aback.

Was he just asking, genuinely curious?

Vikir searched Hugo’s gaze again.

But he couldn’t read anything in it. Surprise, joy, curiosity, relief?

It was like…….

‘Sounds like a typical father.’

Vikir furrowed his brow.

‘It’s one or the other.’

Either Hugo’s mind had grown deeper and more sinister than even he could recognize, or his own mind had turned dull.

The night before the regression, when the rain was pouring down in torrents.

He can’t forget the feel of so many teeth piercing his body.

How can he forget the man who accused him of being in league with demons and executed him?

A master of hounds, and king of all hounds.

That was Hugo Les Baskerville.

Vikir sharpened his fangs, which were almost dull, again.

And the more he did so, the softer his tone became.

“I’ve been concentrating on recovering from the wounds I suffered at the hands of monsters while adrift in the depths, and I’ve managed to establish friendly relations with some of the natives.”

Hugo’s complexion brightened a bit.

“I see. You established friendly relations with the barbarians?”


“That’s a good thing.”

Hugo nodded. It was a rather unexpected response, given his morbid dislike of the natives of Depht.

But at Hugo’s next words, Vikir could only nod in agreement.

“You must have gotten to know the barbarians well enough to know their location and strength, which would make it easier for you to wipe them out.”

Hugo still regarded the natives as something akin to demons.

Vikir hid a sigh.

“What I’ve learned from my time with them is that…… their power is greater than I thought.”

“Hmm. That’s true, especially with the Night Foxes being such a threat.”

“But I’ve figured out a way to control them.”

“Ho-ho, and what is that?”

Hugo asked, his face lighting up at Vikir’s words.

If you ask Vikir, he always has a good answer. Hugo seemed to think so.

And this time, Vikir didn’t disappoint.

“The natives of Depht are weak against the Empire’s manufactured goods.”

“Manufactured goods?”

“Yes. I have confirmed that merchants from bourgeois families have been sneaking in and trading with the natives of Depht.”

Hugo’s expression hardened at the words.

Then he growled in a low voice.

“A bunch of money-grubbers, and now they’re trading with foreign enemies? Sooner or later, I’m going to have to cut their heads off…….”

“You don’t have to worry, father, I’ve exterminated them all.”


“I’m a deputy magistrate in the city of Underdog, and I had them summarily executed under the authority of the acting magistrate, and of course there were no witnesses.”

Hugo’s eyes widened again.

Then his gaze dropped to Vikir’s, and it was replaced by a look of familiarity, of recognition.

“I see. That’s just like my son. This is Baskerville.”

And then, with a gleam in his eye, Hugo asked.

“Yes, it is. You mean the bourgeois have been seducing the barbarians with their petty manufactured goods?”

“Yes. Glass beads and woolen crafts, which are cheap in the Empire, or vegetables and grain, which are precious to them. Exploiting them is a great way to keep them under control, and it’s a great diplomatic gain.”

“……Hmm. But isn’t that trade, not conquest?”

“It’s a way to win without fighting.”

Hugo’s expression turned grim for a moment.

“There is no point in fighting. The sword of Baskerville exists to draw blood from the bodies of barbarians.”

What an infernal warmonger. Vikir clucked his tongue inwardly, but didn’t let it show.

“Of course barbarians will shed blood.”

“Hmm? But didn’t you just say we were trading?”

“I didn’t mean to suggest that we make peace with the barbarians.”


Vikir’s eyes lit up at Hugo’s question.

“I meant to use them as reinforcements for hunting demons.”

Pfft. Hugo’s favorite tactic.

Hugo was quite intrigued by the idea.

“Hmmm. Let’s lure them in with cheap manufactured goods and slay the demons. It’s not so bad, after all, demons are also targets.”

“Yeah. I’ve already built the infrastructure, you just need to utilize it.”

Vikir did not want the natives of Balak to be harmed by the Baskervilles.

Now that Madame Eightlegs was gone, pressuring the Balak from the west, the Balak would escape the Baskervilles and move deeper into the watery depths of their original home.

It will no longer have any reason to encounter Baskerville Street.

The Baskervilles can easily fill the void left by Balak’s departure to the west.

Since Hugo is unaware of Madame’s existence, he will see Balak moving west and assume that he is fleeing.

For Vikir, it’s a win-win: war is averted and trade is secured.

Finally, Hugo nodded.

“Very well. Then I’ll leave the trade with the barbarians to you. Can you do it?”

“If you ask me to, I will do it.”


Hugo smiled with satisfaction at his son’s loyalty, which was no different than it had been two years ago-if anything, even stronger.

It was a win-win for Vikir, too, since he would only have to wrap the already laid out board in his own merit.



Hugo added.

“There must be a tribe among the barbarians called the Rococo.”

“Yes. I know of them.”

“There will be no trade with them. The Rokoko tribe alone will be exterminated.”

Hugo’s tone was suddenly ferocious again. He would not compromise on this point.

Vikir could only nod in silence, knowing that arguing back would undo everything they had discussed so far.

Some small talk ensued.

Most of it was similar to what he’d told the Chihuahua.

Hugo sat on the couch and listened to Vikir’s report, mostly with a look of satisfaction, but occasionally with a look of surprise.

Finally, he turned to Vikir.

“Since your rescue and subsequent disappearance, we have been able to make enormous diplomatic gains in Morg. What’s more, the imperial court has heard of the tale and has awarded House Baskerville for its chivalry.”


“All of this was for nothing to a father who had lost his son.”

The more I listen, the more surprising the words become.

Even Butler Barrymore’s rabbit eyes behind him echoed Vikir’s sentiments.

Finally, Hugo finished.

“But it’s good that you’re back. It feels like things are finally falling into place.”


“I suggest that you relinquish your duties as Underdog’s Deputy for the time being and get some rest, while we discuss what rewards the House can bestow upon you.”

Vikir replied briefly, then bowed, ending the conversation.

Suddenly, I had a problem.

“…… The portrait in the Pomeranian pendant. Should I report it or not?

Vikir had identified the pendant’s original owner as Roxana, Hugo’s first wife.

Roxana’s daughter, Penelope, and Penelope’s daughter, Pomeranian.

We know that Hugo’s personality changed after Roxana was killed in action and her daughter, Penelope, was kidnapped in a mysterious accident by the natives of Depht.

This information is reliable because it comes directly from the pre-regression Barrymore.

Should we return this artifact, which presumably belonged to Roxana, to Hugo?

And what about the Pomeranian?

‘Nope. Scratch and chew. You can’t expect anything from that cold-blooded man.’

Vikir shook his head lightly.

If Hugo had any sisters or daughters, she’d know how he treated female flesh and blood, but…… there were none in Baskerville, so his attitude could not be inferred.

‘I’m sure he’ll say something about women having weak hands for swords and not being needed. You’ll be lucky if she doesn’t draw her sword and say it has barbarian blood in it.’

Given Hugo’s usual sullen nature, it was probably best not to mention Pomeranian.

That’s how Vikir judged it.

…… But.

Two things happened at once that completely upset Vikir’s expectations.

“Aaahhh! Uncle!”

The side door to the next room burst open and the Pomeranian burst out.

“Woow! Uncle! It’s raining outside! Thunder! Bam bam bam bam-”

Pomeranian ran into Vikir’s arms, covered in tears and snot.

He was the first variable.

And then.


Vikir’s eyes widened.

The second variable was even more strange than the first.

It was the look on Hugo’s face when he saw the Pomeranian.

“……! ……! ……! ……! ……! ……! ……! ……! ……! ……! ……! ……!”

Eyes perfectly circled.

A mouth that had never been seen open like that before.

A face Vikir had never seen in his two lives.